Japan's inflation accelerated in December but remained well below the 2 percent target, data from the Ministry of Internal Affairs showed Friday.
Consumer price inflation increased to 0.8 percent in December from 0.5 percent a month ago. This was also above economists' forecast of 0.7 percent.
Core inflation rose to 0.7 percent, in line with expectations, from 0.5 percent in November. On a monthly basis, core prices edged up 0.1 percent.
Excluding fresh food and energy, inflation edged up to 0.9 percent from 0.8 percent a month ago.
Early this week, the Bank of Japan lowered its fiscal 2020 inflation forecast to 1 percent from 1.1 percent and that for fiscal 2019 to 0.6 percent from 0.7 percent.